How to become a vegan? – this is how the question is formulated by people who plan, for one reason or another, to abandon animal products. There is no universal recipe, but nevertheless, experts have long developed an optimal scheme for the transition to a vegan lifestyle. Following this scheme, you can minimize the unpleasant consequences for the body.
For and against veganism
People who eat meat often wonder why they go vegan. The main reasons here are:
- Care for the environment.
- Compassion for all living beings.
But whatever the reasons for going vegan, cutting out meat and other foods can bring tangible benefits:
- Improving well-being.
- Improving physical fitness, eliminating excess weight.
- Psychological comfort.
- Recovery from a number of chronic diseases.
- Cost optimization (on average, vegans spend less money on food, clothes and other things).
There are also disadvantages of veganism, and it is also necessary to speak frankly about them:
Refusal of animal products is associated with a psychological burden, especially at first; for a complete transition to a vegan lifestyle, you need to spend a lot of time and effort; Vegans need to constantly monitor their diet – not only to avoid accidentally eating the wrong product but also to avoid deficiencies in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Go Vegan: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners
Refusal of harmful foods and meat
Say to yourself: “I want to become a vegan!” – and immediately abandon all products of animal origin – not the right decision. Many experts in the field of proper nutrition tell about how to become a vegan without harm to health. However, all recommendations state that it is best to proceed gradually.
The first stage is the rejection of food that does not benefit the body, as well as meat:
To begin with, we exclude the so-called junk food (“junk food”) from the diet. This includes chips, semi-finished products, sweet carbonated drinks, etc. All this is not only not good for the body but also causes quite tangible harm to it. So you should already feel the improvement at this stage!
Now we refuse ready-made meat products – sausages, ham, sausages, etc. Meat prepared in an industrial way contains a large number of harmful substances.
In the next stage, we remove meat from the diet. First, we stop eating beef, pork, and lamb. After a while, we reduce the volume of chicken and turkey, and then completely abandon them.
Important! At this stage, care should be taken to ensure that the body receives a sufficient amount of protein. Beans are a good substitute for meat here.
Refusal of fish
- If you decide to become a vegan and lose weight, or simply do not want to harm living beings, then you should also give up fish with seafood:
- First, we exclude fatty sea and river fish from the diet. To compensate for the lack of fat in the body, we introduce nuts into the diet.
- Then we completely refuse seafood – mussels, oysters, shrimp, etc. They contain a large number of minerals (primarily zinc), so that the deficiency that has arisen must be compensated for. A universal recipe is the use of a large amount of seaweed.
- Be sure to introduce iodized salt into the diet, otherwise, the rejection of fish and seafood will result in iodine deficiency with a number of unpleasant consequences for the body.
Avoiding other animal products
Any guides on how to go vegan and where to start also focus on avoiding dairy and eggs:
- Eggs, from the point of view of vegans, are healthy food, but “unethical”. This is due to the unacceptable exploitation of chickens on poultry farms. First, pure eggs (boiled, fried, etc.) are excluded from the diet. Then it is worth abandoning products in the preparation of which eggs are used in one form or another.
- The same applies to dairy products – the raw materials for them are obtained as a result of the exploitation of cattle. An alternative here would be coconut milk, soy milk, tofu curd, and some other products.
- To obtain honey, a person destroys or exploits bees, therefore any beekeeping products are unethical. You can replace honey with fruit and berry syrups.
- Whether a vegan should give up mushrooms is a debatable issue. For many supporters of the Vegan lifestyle, eating mushrooms is quite acceptable, so this product should not be neglected.
Embracing veganism as a way of life
The answer to the question of how to become a vegan is much easier than the answer to the question of how to be a vegan for a long time.
Here it is important not only to take into account food restrictions but also to radically reconsider your lifestyle:
- To get started, train yourself to carefully read the labels. Even some “harmless” at first glance, products may contain ingredients that are unacceptable for a vegan.
- If possible, refuse products and various products containing gelatin (it is made from the bones and veins of animals). Instead of gelatin, you can use agar-agar.
- Gradually give up the use of clothes and shoes made of genuine leather and fur. This also includes natural silk, for the production of which the silkworm is bred.
- Be more attentive to entertainment and lifestyle in general. Visiting circuses, hippodromes, and dolphinariums is unethical: living creatures are exploited there.
Useful tips from experienced vegans
- You don’t have to give up your favorite foods. Their vegetarian versions are in most cases no less tasty and incomparably more healthy.
- Change your diet and lifestyle gradually. You do not need to immediately redraw your entire menu or throw out of the house all items that contain at least a small piece of genuine leather. It is enough if you step by step refuse meat and refuse to buy new leather and fur clothes.
- Pay attention to your body’s needs. He himself will tell you what you are missing – and you will only have to correctly interpret these signals.
- Focus on positive outcomes. Veganism is not about giving up meat, being vegan is about adopting a new, more ethical way of life. See all change as a gain, not a loss.
- Get support. In your immediate environment, find those who, if not share your views, then at least recognize their right to exist. Feel free to ask for help: the really close people will support you, and will not try to discreetly feed you a cake or meatballs.
- Do not agitate others, at least in the early stages. Many beginner vegans act aggressively, but it should be remembered that veganism is a conscious choice for everyone. It cannot be forced into it: everyone comes (or does not come) to such a decision independently.
Understanding how to become a vegan is easy. It is much more difficult to get started, and even more difficult to continue to adhere to a vegan lifestyle for a long time under pressure from the environment. However, if you approach this issue as responsibly as possible, and do not make typical mistakes, then at first it will be much easier for you.